Agenda item 50: Great apes | WWF

Agenda item 50: Great apes

Sumatran orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus abelii) at the Bohorok Rehabilitation Station. Sumatra, Indonesia Project number: ID0100
(with reference to Agenda item 65: Report of the Central Africa Bushmeat Working Group)

Document 50 is the report of the Secretariat on the implementation of Res. Conf. 13.4 Conservation of and Trade in Great Apes. It includes information on progress on technical missions to specific Parties to examine the illicit trade in orangutans, as well as an update on activities undertaken by the CITES Great Ape Enforcement Taskforce. No specific recommendations are made for the consideration of, or adoption by, the Parties at CoP14, although the Secretariat does state an oral report will be given at the meeting to update on any further developments.

WWF recommendation:

WWF welcomes the steps taken in addressing the illicit trade in great apes, and looks forward to the Secretariat’s update at CoP14 on any further developments. WWF recommends the following in order to ensure further progress is made in addressing this trade:
  • The CoP is urged to request Indonesia report to meetings of the Standing Committee between CoP14 and CoP15 on continuing progress in implementing the recommendations of the Secretariat’s technical mission
  • The recommendations of the GRASP/CITES mission to Indonesia concerning the mitigation of human orang-utan conflict should be revised
  • Greater efforts must be made by Parties to enforce and uphold the legal protection afforded to great apes, e.g. through the prosecution of those involved in the illicit trade, and through awareness raising of the judiciary
  • Law enforcement training is required at all levels of enforcement personnel, but this must be accompanied by sufficient resources and political will
  • The CoP should consider whether additional measures, such as non-compliance measures, are necessary for Parties that are not cooperating with the Secretariat’s efforts to conduct technical missions
  • In light of the ongoing and urgent threat posed by bushmeat to the survival of African great apes, WWF urges CITES Parties who are able, to provide funds for the proposed workshop to be convened by the FAO (regarding Agenda Item 65 Bushmeat).
For WWF's full position, including the rationale and further information, please see page 30 in WWF Positions CITES COP14. Download PDF (3.6 MB | 48 pages)

Why is WWF making this recommendation?

Res. Conf. 13.4 Conservation of and trade in great apes highlights that the CITES Parties are concerned that wild populations of great apes continue to decline drastically, and are threatened by the combined effects of trade in live animals, poaching for bushmeat, disease, and habitat loss caused by disturbance, fragmentation, and destruction. All Parties, the Secretariat, and the Standing Committee are directed to undertake specific activities to reduce and ultimately eliminate illegal trade in great apes.

WWF welcomes Document 50 and the progress it outlines in addressing the serious problem of illegal trade in great ape species.

WWF was disappointed that no recommendations were included in this document to facilitate the agreement of substantial concerted measures to halt or reduce illegal trade in great apes but notes that such recommendations may be forthcoming on the completion of the Great Ape Enforcement Taskforce’s information-gathering exercise. WWF hopes this analysis will be available at CoP14 and urges the Secretariat to include this in its oral report to the CoP.

Additionally, WWF makes suggestions (see recommendations above) with regard to specific actions to be taken by the Secretariat, the Standing Committee, and range and importing States.


More information

TRAFFIC reports
  • In Full Swing, An Assessment of Trade in Orang-utans and Gibbons on Java and Bali, Indonesia Download PDF | 1.1 MB
  • Hanging in the Balance: An Assessment of Trade in Orang-utans and Gibbons on Kalimantan, Indonesia Download PDF | 565 KB

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